by Najiah on Monday, March 7th, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR: Long-time residents at the Jalan Cochrane government quarters are upset they have been alloted low-cost (PPR) units more than 20km away in Puchong when they claim there are still about 200 unoccupied units nearby.
The residents, numbering about 200, were told on Saturday to attend a briefing on their new homes in PPR Kampung Muhibbah, Puchong, today and move in by March 15.
Tempers were high during a residents' gathering yesterday morning. Cochrane Government Quarters Relocation Appeal Committee chairman Bustamam Hassan accused the authorities of having gone back on their promises ahead of the quarters' demolition to make way for a government housing project.
"In earlier discussions, City Hall representatives had mentioned there were vacancies in the nearby PPR flats. It was also verbally agreed the Jalan Cochrane residents will be given those flats.
"Imagine our shock when we received the offer for the low-cost units in PPR Kampung Muhibah and to move in by March 15. It is too short a notice."
Bustaman said the residents would reject the offer and not attend today's briefing.
Retired civil servant Ahmad Omar, 60, said: "It is an insult for us civil servants to be called squatters. We are supposed to be appreciated for our contribution and lifetime service to the government.
"Instead, we are being treated like garbage. The authorities are supposed to fight for the interest for low-income support staff like us."
Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Omar Osman said it would meet with City Hall today and negotiate an extension to June 30 if more suitable units could not be found for the residents.
When contacted, City Hall's deputy director-general (services), Datuk Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, said the residents were offered the Puchong units because there were no vacant ones nearby.
On the claim there are 200 unoccupied homes in PPR Seri Alam near the Cochrane area, he said: "There are no vacant units. They have to understand these 'unoccupied' units are reserved for shortlisted candidates and the list had been prepared a few years ago."
Amin also explained the PPR units were not meant for occupants of government quarters. "However, after consideration, City Hall agreed to provide PPR units for them as the civil servants did not want to move to government quarters in Putrajaya."
The residents first received their evacuation notice from the property management division of the Prime Minister's Department in May last year. Following discussions, the Dec 15 deadline was extended to March 15 this year.
They will be given RM2,000 as compensation, and the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) will provide transport during moving day.